Profession heavy-weights given Queen’s Birthday honours

by NZ Lawyer08 Jun 2016
The Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List announced on Monday recognised the contribution of members of New Zealand’s legal profession.

President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ellen France was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her contribution to the law, after 35 years’ service to the judiciary.

France became a High Court judge in 2002 and a judge of the Court of Appeal in 2006.  She took up the head position at the court in 2014.

“I like that you're dealing with something that matters to people. It does affect people's lives. It's important work,” she told Stuff.

According to a report by Radio NZ, French said she felt privileged to be involved in the law but that she’d like to see more women appointed to the bench.

“Most of it is about people really, and how people's lives, their business are affected by how the law works in a particular way and I enjoy exploring the various implications and so on and I suppose being part of something that does matter to people,” she said.

France is married to High Court judge Justice Simon France, with whom she has worked in the High Court and in the Crown Law Office.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts chair Cathy Quinn was named as an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

Quinn, a promotor of women’s mentoring, served as a member of the Securities Commission for over nine years, promoting sound securities law and corporate governance.  She is the only lawyer appointed to the government’s Capital Markets Development Taskforce.

She has been with MinterEllisionRuddWatts for over 30 years.

“I am honoured, humbled and grateful for both the opportunities I have had and to those who have encouraged and supported me in my career and life to date,” she said.